The ABCs of Homeschooling

  I am a passionate person.  Generally, I think in terms of all or nothing, black and white, or yes and no.  I use strong words like love and hate, rarely like.  You can count on me to say in an argument, "You always" or "You never". (Bad idea, I know, but I always forget.)
  So, what I am going to say about the letter A goes against all of that.  Here is my suggestion: Throw out the word always. I discovered this with my second student.  I had taught my son, Josh, how to read using phonics.  Everybody knows that phonics is the way to go.  And so, I taught my daughter Tabitha the letters and their sounds.  But do you think she could put the sounds together?  Nope.  So now what?
   I read homeschooling books and articles like there was nothing else to read at this point in my life.  Turns out, I remembered someone said to be careful of causing your child to hate learning by pushing too hard.  Tabitha and I were both frustrated and so I did the unthinkable! I contacted the public school.  According to Pennsylvania law, we are allowed to use the school's materials. I asked for a reading workbook.  It was NOT phonics; and it worked.  Sometimes this happens. I still think the strong foundation in phonics was profitable, but it worked for her to take a little break and try something else. Lesson learned.
   How else may we want to do away with the word always?  Children always sit at desks, feet in underneath in order to do schoolwork, right?  Not Josh.  He did his best reading lounging on a couch.  When I read to him, he always messed around with a ball.  I accused him of not listening.  Not so. He proved to me he could listen better with something in his hands.
   How about this line of thinking?  Children always read by _________________ (fill in the age). Children who have parents who read to them and who see their parents reading are always good readers.  Yeah, I bought that one, too. May I say each is on their own timetable and some may never read without intervention.
   So now, I am going to do a turnabout and tell you how to use the word always.  Always remember each child is different.  Each has their own temperment, interests, weaknesses, and abilities. Also, always remember that, although you may need the services of a professsional now and then, when it comes to knowing your child, you are the professional. Always remember that your child was given to you by God.  Always include God in the process.  Always remember that first and foremost, your child is your child, not your student.  Amen.


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